I’m happy to report that today, INSEAD was in the news, not just once but twice. Our Dean, Frank Brown, was featured in a front-page splash, besides Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston.
No, wait. He wasn’t at the Academy Awards with her :) I meant to say that the interview with him was featured on the front page of the Straits Times, our major broadsheet. Aha!
Click on the photo for a higher-res version of the full page article to read it. Frank’s main point was a little scary - good CEOs should leave after a maximum of 7 years, preferably 5. But from what I learnt in my Strategy Execution elective, it is true that over time, CEOs get less access to new information as they become surrounded with ‘yes-men’. Also, in time, the more towering the reputation a CEO has, the more unlikely - especially in the more reticient Asian cultures - he will receive honest feedback. Frank notes that many CEOs from companies that have been badly hit with the recent credit crunch, had long tenures.
Some transcultural anecdotes from Frank’s book, The Global Business Leader, are mentioned, including the tale of the Japanese executive who finally spoke up after a long meeting, about how the name of a new initiative sounded like ‘your ugly sister’ in Japanese.
I was a little sad to hear that Frank would be leaving in 2011, but I guess he’s practising what he’s preaching. As an INSEADer I have to say that Frank has been as candid as his name, when speaking with us. He doesn’t have airs and sometimes when we see him walking around the campus, we give him a wave and a smile. I’d say almost everybody has had a chance to have a chat with him.
The next article involving INSEAD is part of a job hunting theme. Specifically, it’s about how taking part in contests like Loreal’s EStrat could land jobs for the more successful contestants. One semifinalist, our classmate Sameer, was quoted:
Good job! Do us proud on 20 May and win!
We should congratulate INSEAD’s corporate communications team for landing 2 articles in a day. Of course it may not have been planned this way because two different papers were involved (albeit by the same parent company, SPH) and you don’t always know when exactly something’s going to be published.
Also, while senior writer Sandra Davy calls INSEAD a ‘premier’ school, in the L’Oreal article we’re mentioned, strangely, just as a ‘postgraduate’ business school. I’m not sure how that description adds value to the article, unless it means we’re older and have an unfair advantage against undergrads? (Am I just reading too much into this?)
In any case, the more senior professionals are aware of what INSEAD stands for. The more INSEAD gets into the local news, the more people will know about us and what we can offer.